By: Sharon Aron Baron
The staff and children at two Tamarac elementary schools love School Resource Officer Deputy French.
Problem is – they have to share him.
Sometimes, he’s not at either school, as he has to run downtown to do paperwork.
Currently, Challenger Elementary School and Tamarac Elementary School share Deputy French. French works at Challenger on Monday, Wednesday and Friday and Tuesday and Thursday at Tamarac Elementary. PTA President Christiene Gerdes said “It would be great if we had a full-time Deputy.”
What the schools don’t know is the city has the funds to make it happen.
The Law Enforcement Forfeiture Trust Fund – or LETF is cash from the proceeds of seized items. It may be able to fund a new school resource officer and a few more things, but it is extremely limited.
Brought up recently at a Woodlands Neighborhood Improvement District meeting by former Broward County Commissioner Ilene Lieberman, the board was looking for money to fund their project. Lieberman mentioned the LETF fund which residents weren’t aware of.
The Florida Statute Chapter 932.701-706, “Florida Contraband Forfeiture Act,” was established to allow law enforcement agencies to seize and forfeit any contraband that have been used in the commissions of felonies. This includes vehicles, vessels, aircraft, real property, cash or any other item of value. The cash or proceeds from a sale of the seized items go into the Law Enforcement Trust Funds account for use by the law enforcement agency.
I contacted City Clerk Pat Teufel to find out how much was in our LEFT fund. Currently we have $318,929 in state and federal funds which may be dispersed via a written request which must be voted and approved by the city commission, and must be used for the following purposes:
- School resource officer
- Crime prevention
- Safe neighborhood
- Drug abuse education and prevention programs
Dear Mayor and Commissioners:
I would like to make an official request for our next commission meeting on behalf of the parents, staff and children at both Tamarac and Challenger Elementary School.
It seems as though these two schools have been sharing School Resource Officer Deputy French for quite some time. Poor guy has been juggling his time between two schools and both want him desperately at their own schools full-time. However, we don’t seem to have the funds for this.
This is why I’m requesting you approve at your next city commission meeting, a portion of the $318,000 in LETF funds that State Statutes says must go for this very reason – to be used for these fantastic Tamarac schools.
I figured, hey we approved spending $60,000 to fence the perimeter around BSO next door to city hall, this would be a no-brainer because none of this money is coming out of taxpayers pockets!
I know how important safety is for all of you so let’s consider getting each of these school their own Deputy French.
How could anyone say no?
Thanks so much!Sharon Aron Baron Tamarac Talk